George Edward “Butch” Locke, 85, of Hot Springs, formerly of Hamburg, died peacefully on March 2, 2021 in Hot Springs.
He was born on May 20, 1935, in Monticello and was the son of the late Carl Wilson Locke and George Frances Carpenter Locke.
Butch was a former Arkansas State Senator and former owner of numerous businesses. He had a passion for golf and horseracing. His home in Hot Springs was just two miles from one of his favorite hangouts, Oaklawn Racetrack. As in all areas of his life, he was on a first-name basis with all the regulars at the track.
Butch was an avid sports fan, especially the Arkansas Razorbacks and his grandchildren’s sporting events. He was prone to jumping up and yelling at the TV during televised Hog games. Butch started as a freshman on the Arkansas A&M (University of Arkansas at Monticello) football squad in 1953. After graduation from college, he was hired as head football coach in Stamps. He coached three sports annually before moving back to Hamburg to join his father in the timber and insurance business.
Butch was active in the First Baptist Church while living in Hamburg and was proud of his family’s involvement since the church founding.
Butch’s greatest moment on the golf course was a hole-in-one in his early 70s. He loved collecting lost balls from the golf course ponds and out-of-bounds. The trunk of his car had to be emptied twice of hundreds of golf balls. It is an understatement to say that Butch lived a full life. The guardian angel that seemed to watch over and protect him gave him the freedom to live a life full of fun, adventure, and love with those he touched. His friends over the years in the Hamburg, Little Rock, and Hot Springs area have told many stories of fun and laughter with Butch.
Butch spent his last 15 years with his loving wife, Renee Harrell Locke. Renee was his final angel sent from heaven to love and laugh with him as his health declined. His children wish to express their deepest appreciation for the gift of Renee’s love and care fo r their father. Renee and family wish to express their heartfelt gratitude to Dawn Walters for her compassion and love as his caregiver.
Butch was preceded in death by his parents, Carl and Frances Carpenter Locke; a sister, Sara Beth Locke, and the mother of his children, Venda Hahn Locke.
He is survived by his wife, Renee Harrell Locke; his daughters, Carla Locke McCord and husband, Bill, all of Hot Springs, Haley Locke Elliott and husband, Bruce, of Lake Village, and Georganna Locke Faulkner and husband, John, of Hot Springs; his son, Joe Locke and wife, Sharon, of Little Rock; his stepdaughter, Megan Harrell of Little Rock, ten grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
Visitation will be held Saturday, March 6, from 1 p.m. until 2 p.m. at the Jones-Hartshorn Funeral Home Chapel in Hamburg. Everyone in attendance will be required to wear a mask. A private burial will be at the Hamburg Cemetery with Dr. Bobby Pennington officiating.